Our sense of identity is important. Every person needs a sense of significance—a sense of value and purpose. It is built into us, not at birth, but at conception.
Humanity was created in the image of God, but are often at odds with Him. Some of us are in various states of rebellion towards Him, while others are lost in the maelstrom of our culture.
How does one gain or pursue significance? Success? Psychology? Religion? Soul searching? Social media? Branding? Israel's King David knows a thing or two about significance. Let's see what he has to say.
O Lord, look how my enemies have increased! Many are attacking me. Many are saying about me, “Even with God ⌊on his side⌋, he won’t be victorious.” Selah [vss 1-2]
But you, O Lord, are a shield that surrounds me. You are my glory. You hold my head high. I call aloud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. Selah [vss 3-4]
I lie down and sleep. I wake up again because the Lord continues to support me. I am not afraid of the tens of thousands who have taken positions against me on all sides. Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! You have slapped all my enemies in the face. You have smashed the teeth of wicked people. Victory belongs to the Lord! May your blessing rest on your people. Selah [vss 5-8]
(Psalm 3:1-8 GW) [Context– Psalm 3]
Key phrase— I call aloud to the Lord, and he answers me
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Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What seems to be King David's situation at the opening of this psalm?
How does he answer those who oppose him? Where does King David find his identity and significance?
Where does he place his confidence and how does it benefit him?
Why does he have this confidence in God?
Today's culture, as world culture always has, places great importance on external things. A sense of identity and value is often invested in what a person owns, their status among others, who they know, or what they're known for.
But these are fleeting and fickle values.
Did you notice the word selah repeated three times? It's not an easy word to explain or translate, but is believed to be a literary marker to remind the reader (or listener) to pause and consider what's just been said.
Each selah is intended to reflect on what's said, but also to helps us see the progression of thought expressed.
King David realized his situation was dire, but kept things in perspective by reaffirming his trust and sense of identity in his relationship with God. The result is a confidence and assurance in the midst of difficult circumstances.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
Where do you find your sense of significance—your value and purpose in life?
Do you have a similar trust and confidence in God as King David did?
How have you seen God answer your prayers and when you call out to Him?
What are present situations or difficulties that you need to entrust to God?
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